Meet Our Team
Gary Drews – Chief Executive Officer
Appointed by the Board of Trustees, Drews brings tremendous leadership experience in the healthcare sector and track record of improving every organization with which he has been affiliated. Already at 9Health we are seeing an increase in attendance at our health fairs and launching new health and media programs.
Previously, Drews served as the interim CEO and Executive Director of Connect for Health Colorado, the state’s health insurance exchange. During his one-year appointment, Drews led the organization through a strategic planning process while enrolling over 150,000 Coloradans.
Drews was the Chief Financial Officer and Vice President, Finance, Investments & Graduate Medical Education for the Colorado Health Foundation from 2006-2013. His leadership responsibilities included strategic finance and planning overseeing a $100m+ budget; mission and portfolio investment management ($2.3b); hospital system joint venture management (7 hospitals); graduate medical education academic affairs (5 residencies); and accounting, facilities, and legal.
After receiving his Bachelor of Science at the University of Colorado, Boulder he earned a Master of Arts at the University of Southern California.
When Drews isn’t at work, he enjoys spending time with his wife and son, as well as playing the guitar and landscape photography.
Adele Work – Vice President of Operations
A results-driven executive leader with over 25 years of experience, Adele brings a deep understanding of the healthcare landscape to the 9Health staff from Connect for Health where she was instrumental in standing up the marketplace and responsible for managing key operations of the organization. In addition, Adele has held a variety of leadership positions in healthcare and technology where she has excelled at building and managing teams and systems.
Prior to Connect for Health Colorado, Adele was a principal at the North Highland Company, partner and managing director at the Bergeron Consulting Group and vice president at American Management Systems (now CGI-AMS). Throughout her career, Adele has been a passionate advocate for customers and demonstrated a proven ability to turn ideas into results by seeing clearly how to build and execute plans and work collaboratively across all aspects of an enterprise.
Adele earned a bachelor’s degree in Geophysical Engineering at the Colorado School of Mines. She and her partner, Jennifer, have two grown sons and one grandchild. They live and work on a small farm in Berthoud, Colorado where they sell produce, herbs and flowers under the name The Farmer and Adele.
David Fickel, CPA – Chief Financial Officer, Vice President of Finance
Dave graduated from Texas A&M University with a B.A. in Economics and an M.B.A. in Accounting. He started his accounting career in Houston, Texas with an international public accounting firm. He also worked in the oil and gas industry in Houston. Dave moved to Denver in the early eighties and was controller for a large retail company for many years. He has served as Treasurer on several local non-profit boards of directors during the past 20 years.
Dave and his wife live in Lakewood and they both greatly enjoy hiking in Colorado, gardening and traveling to National Parks throughout the country. Dave strongly believes in the mission of 9Health Fair and the help it provides to the community.
Dr. Karen Polsky – Vice President of Health Strategies
Dr. Karen Polsky joined 9Health as the Vice President of Health Strategies in 2017 and is part of the strategic leadership team. She will help guide 9Health strategy in various aspects, including education, screening and health community outreach.
Dr. Karen is board certified in Internal Medicine and continues to practice part time. Her experience includes practicing in both the rural and metro areas in the primary, urgent and emergency care settings.
A healthcare innovator and pioneer in customer service and accessible care, she opened multiple urgent care centers and has consulted with several progressive nonprofit healthcare organizations.
Dr. Karen earned her BS at Duke University, MD at Temple University and completed her residency at University of Colorado. She participated in Advanced Physician Leadership Program and is currently pursuing a certificate in nutrition and disease.
When away from the medical arena, she enjoys spending time in the Colorado outdoors with her family, including husband, two children, and a yellow Labrador. She is an avid skier, tennis player and mountain biker.
Marla Rodriguez – Vice President of Communications & Marketing
Marla Rodriguez leads communications and sponsorship efforts for one of Colorado’s most loved non-profits, 9Health Fair. Starting in January 2010, she coordinates all of the promotion, marketing and outreach for the organization. Previously, Rodriguez served as the manager of public relations and marketing at Emily Griffith Opportunity School. Rodriguez spent 17 years in sports public relations, including at the University of Denver (2000-05). She was named to the NCAA Men’s Final Four Media Coordination Committee and Rodriguez’ 1999-00 women’s basketball media guide cover was judged best in the nation.
An active member of the community, Rodriguez has facilitated programs for Colorado Youth at Risk, a drop-out prevention program, and is the former Board Chair for the Open Media Foundation. Born in Colorado Springs, CO, Rodriguez earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Iowa State University and a master’s degree in sports administration from St. Thomas University (Miami, Fla.). She is an avid sports fan, a yoga practitioner and has a little white dog named Koji.
Melanie Zeitler – Vice President of Philanthropy
Melanie has worked in the non-profit sector for 18 years in various roles from program development to Executive Director. She has a breadth of experience in non-profit management and resource development across several sectors; including Jewish Community, Art, Education and Conservation organizations. Her most recent years were spent at the Plains Conservation Center; a non-profit which focuses on environmental education and the restoration of endangered grasslands in Colorado. This is where Melanie learned to “fall in love” with the prairie landscape and its unique ecosystem. Melanie’s interest in environmental issues and stewardship has continued in her freelance consulting work and volunteerism, where she has happily donated her services to several organizations bringing the importance of environmental stewardship to the forefront. Melanie grew up in a medical family. Her dad was an orthopedic trauma surgeon and mom was a surgical nurse. Health and wellness was and continues to be a fundamental part of her life. She is a yoga enthusiast and spin cycling nut, who has also been known to enjoy a whole bag of blue corn chips in one sitting now and then!
Alexandra Andrews – Director of Volunteer Engagement
Before joining 9Health Fair as the Director of Volunteer Engagement, Alexandra was a volunteer site leader for 9Health Fair! During this time, she wrote a sensitivity training to help volunteers better understand how to serve people with I/DD at the fair. She previously worked for AdvocacyDenver as the Health Care Advocacy Program Coordinator, where she provided direct advocacy support to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). She ran four health classes specifically tailored to people with I/DD. Alex received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Colorado State University and her Master of Arts in Child and Family Studies from Syracuse University. She is a native Coloradan, she married her husband Deric in 2007 and they have 2 sons; Brennen and Trevor. She enjoys doing everything with her family from skiing, hiking, and biking to creating pottery, other art pieces, reading, and gardening.
Ashley Atkinson – Communications and Sponsorship Manager
Ashley graduated from the University of Wyoming with a degree in Communications and Public Relations. She worked in marketing for a commercial real estate firm in Arizona after graduation. The desire to be closer to family brought her back to her native Colorado where she worked in Election Administration until January 2013 when she joined the 9Health Fair team. She enjoys live music in small venues, attempting do-it-yourself projects and entertaining at home.
Becky Aragon – Executive Assistant and Development Assistant
Becky provides administrative support for the President and CEO as well as the Development, Communications and Sponsorship departments. Prior to 9Health Fair, she worked at Morris Animal Foundation as an Administrative Assistant to the Vice President of Development.
A native of Pueblo, she has also lived in California prior to returning to Denver 10 years ago. Her time away from work is spent camping and fishing in our beautiful Colorado Mountains with her two cocker spaniels, Mia and Milo.
Beth Brady, LPN, MSW – Medical and Wellness Advisor
Beth is a part-time nurse in the Health and Wellness Department at 9Health Fair. Her role is the medical and wellness adviser for fall 9Health Fairs. Prior to this, Beth managed the early Patient Navigation Project for 9Health Fair. Also, as a social worker, she managed a Teen Parenting Program for Denver Public Schools for seven years. She was born and raised in New York, but moved to Denver in 1980. She loves running, being outside and traveling. Her most recent trip was to Italy!
Bobbie Dougherty – Health and Wellness Registered Nurse
Bobbie has been a part of the 9Health Fair for more than 20 years both as a volunteer and as an employee. Her nursing experiences include the ICU, surgery, rehab and school nursing. Bobbie is on the board of directors for Lalmba, a non-profit organization with medical clinics and orphanages in Africa. Her hobbies include enjoying life and traveling with her husband, Pat, to visit their five children worldwide.
Dain Linder – Director of Information Technology
Dain wants to live in a world where one’s health is realized to be the most valuable of gifts and people invest in it like their very lives depend on it because, well… it does! As the Director of Information Technology, Dain feels his life’s work has led him to this position. His college degree is actually in exercise science but his career in IT started with a curiosity of computers that ultimately led to multiple certifications and various positions in the IT field over the past 15 years. From construction companies to medical practices, Dain’s passion for technology and ability to implement cost-effective technical solutions appropriately is a welcomed addition to the team. When he’s not speaking geek, you can find him supporting his three teenage sons, spending time with his wife, lifting heavy things or photographing the world around him.
Dave Quintana – Manager of Operations and Logistics
Dave is the organization’s Manager of Operations and Logistics. In this role, he manages 9HealthFair’s warehouse, supplies and inventory processes. Dave’s background includes many years in the health and safety field, including understanding OSHA compliance and guidelines. Before joining 9Health Fair, Dave worked for a landscaping company as their health and safety manager and at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal wildlife refuge as an air monitors specialist detecting high and low-level chemical exposures. In his personal time, Dave enjoys visiting the Denver museum, collecting fossils, hunting and cooking wild game.
Dianne Pape – Director of Business Development
In 2001, Dianne joined 9Health Fair as Director of Special Events and Projects, planning special and fundraising events and organizing free breast health clinics for uninsured and underserved communities. She created a bilingual breast cancer education calendar that continues today as an educational tool and celebration of survivorship of men and women whose fight against breast cancer demonstrates that the disease does not discriminate between age, gender, ethnicity or lifestyle. Dianne’s mother, a 43-year survivor, was the first “Miss November”.
Today, Dianne is the Director of Business Development, recruiting new 9Health Fair sites and is in charge of broadening the outreach of 9Health Fair throughout Colorado and neighboring states. She is staff liaison to the Arapahoe/Douglas District and the Central Mountain region, and is a statewide “trouble-shooter,” helping sites resolve unique challenges. Dianne is a “Phoenix”, having returned to college after her children were grown and completing a B.S. in Business Administration at the University of Phoenix in Denver. She is a member and past president of the Lions Club of Denver where she has been honored as a Melvin Jones Fellow. She also sits on the Board of the Rocky Mountain Lions Eye Institute Foundation.
Dianne’s hobbies include tennis, dancing, scuba diving, skiing and cooking. A native of New Jersey, Dianne and her family enjoy the gifts of living in Colorado, although she has been known to occasionally proclaim “Colorado would be absolutely perfect if it only had an ocean!”
Edith Thompson – 9Health Fair Advisor
Edith started out as a volunteer who helped out at various fairs. She then took on the responsibility of site coordinator, making important decisions and overseeing entire fairs. In 1998, she became a District Coordinator for Aurora, and in 2009, she became a Fair Advisor. Edith also manages the front desk at 9Health Fair on a part-time basis. She enjoys walking, reading and spending time with her children and grandchildren.
Kimberly Penney – Co-Director of Health and Wellness
Kimberly received her Bachelor of Science degree in 1999 from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Kimberly brings to 9Health Fair a variety of nursing experience. Her career began in Denver as a vascular surgery nurse, and her other experiences include cardiac surgery, medical surgery and kidney transplant procedures. Kimberly is currently helping to launch our 9Health eTools programs. In her spare time Kimberly enjoys traveling. Her most recent trips include Australia, France, Monaco and Spain.
Liz Rittiman – Digital Media Manager
Liz has a great deal of experience in media. So far in here in her time at 9Health, she has helped us created our Facebook Live show Health Happens, which airs every Tuesday at 11 a.m.
For the first seven years of her career, Liz worked in television news. When she moved to Denver, she used it as an opportunity to shift gears in her career so she could work on issues she felt most passionate about, including healthcare and education.
She and her husband live in Edgewater and enjoy hiking, gardening and traveling. Her bucket list is to travel to all 50 states.
Melody Ryan – Manager of Client Services
Melody is an Estes Park, Colorado native who serves as 9Health Fair’s Manager of Client Services. In this position, she gathers and reports on data collected from our 9Health Fairs such as attendance demographics, number of tests performed and their results. She also works with participants on any non-medical questions they may have about the fairs and/or their test results. Melody started working with 9Health Fair as a volunteer. She graduated with a B.A. in Economics with a minor in Business from the University of Colorado. Previously, she has worked with medical software, a job that took her to all 50 states. Among her many hobbies she enjoys snowboarding, hiking, movies and traveling.
Stacey Brake – Co-Director of Health and Wellness
Stacey is Co-Director of Health & Wellness at 9Health Fair. She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Arizona State University in 1998. Stacey was a travel nurse for several years before settling down in Denver. Stacey has a variety of nursing experience in Telemetry, Orthopedics and Medical Surgery. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, doing anything outdoors such as running, hiking and biking, participating in triathlons and playing with her doggie.
Taylor will help shape all aspects of eTools, the 9Health digital health platform, including overall program strategy, sales, operations, marketing, and integration with existing 9Health efforts. Prior to joining 9Health, she worked with national non-profits and pharmaceutical companies on strategic efforts to engage both B2B and B2C audiences while at the DC-based consulting firm, Avalere. Before that, Taylor was Director of Marketing and Outreach at Connect for Health Colorado, the state’s health insurance exchange. There she managed all strategic messaging, marketing, grassroots outreach, educational consumer shopping tools, and paid media for the organization. Prior to that, Taylor led the Affordable Care Act marketing efforts for Kaiser Permanente Colorado. Her early career includes six years of advertising agency work in Chicago, supporting small to mid-size pharmaceutical companies across a range of therapeutic areas with their branding, FDA-approval process, and commercialization plans. Taylor holds a BS in Journalism and Strategic Communications from the University of Kansas.
Taylor is a Denver enthusiast where she resides with her husband, daughter of 2.5 years, and sweet, big-eared dog. When she’s not working or geeking out on health policy, she enjoys snowboarding, hiking, supporting the Kansas Jayhawks, catching the latest invention revealed on Shark Tank, and the simple pleasure of time with her family.
Terri Kuehn – Senior Accountant
Terri is a Denver, Colorado native and serves as the Accounting and Administrative Assistant for 9Health Fair. She previously worked for 17 years as Administrative Assistant and Bookkeeper for a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, specializing in helping those in need within our community with things such as rent, utilities and food. Terri also has 17 years of experience in the banking field working in many different capacities. Terri and her husband, Rick have been married since 1991 and enjoys visiting breweries to sample craft beer.
Virginia Garcia Pivik – Community Outreach Coordinator
Virginia is the Community Outreach Coordinator for 9Health Fair. With more than 20 years of radio and TV experience, she is a seasoned communications consultant and broadcaster. In 2005 she became an EMMY nominee of the National Academy of Television and Arts for her job as a news producer. Since her days in radio and TV, Virginia has developed a passion for educating and engaging communities by working face-to-face with a vast array of community leaders and members. She believes in utilizing existing marketing channels to increase exposure of our health programs in the community.
Virginia is a volunteer donor on the National Marrow Donor Program Registry (NMDP). She’s also an advocate for Breast Cancer survivor education. She is fluent in Spanish and English and has knowledge of German and Portuguese. Her Spanish skills granted her access to the White House, under the Obama administration for a live presidential translation. Virginia enjoys running 5Ks, hiking, spinning and researching psychology-related topics.